Andre Agassi wore a hairpiece in the early 1990s! What a bombshell he dropped in his new book! (I promise I'm not being sarcastic; I really was shocked to hear that.)
And speaking of that autobiography of his, how about the other big news that came out a few days ago? You know, the whole crystal meth thing? All I have to say is I don't know what to say about that.
I guess I do want to say this: Agassi is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite athlete of all time. Tennis has been as close to a dominant force as anything in my life and 'Dre has been there through most of it. From 1989 until the end, I followed his career every step of the way. And if I saw his name in a tournament draw, you can better believe that I expected him to win it and it didn't matter against who: I always thought he would be able to beat Pete Sampras regardless of the surface. It was just a blind faith I had, I guess.
Here's a funny thing, too: When I tried to model my game after pre-Brad Gilbert Agassi, looking back, it definitely hampered my results. I just wanted to hit all-out on the ball. That was way flashier than the play-it-safe (but winning more) Mats Wilander style I tried to emulate. But you know what? I didn't really care as I adopted that Agassi line, "It's all about the journey" for my game and life.
Anyway, I never figured Agassi to be a saint or anything: Everyone has faults. I never would've thought, though, that he would get busted in a drug test and blatantly lie about it. I mean, wow. And the ATP letting it go with a note? Double-wow. A shame, really.
Agassi's done amazing things both on and off the court, and I don't know if this really taints his legacy or not. I wish it wouldn't have been revealed at this point in the season (if at all, really) when players are still out there battling to better their place in the game and this is the hot tennis story going around.
Unless I come up with some other thoughts about it, I'm just going to keep my own disappointed counsel, and not post anything else on the matter.
And that picture? That's from one of the biggest moments in my life, getting to meet Agassi at a trade-show event in Las Vegas after, like I said, nearly following every single step of his career.
An old friend of mine and I used to talk tennis for hours, whether it was our own games or what was happening in the pros. I've started Tennis Talk, Anyone? to, well, talk tennis with an even broader crowd! My name is Van Sias and I've been playing for 20 years now, and not only am I player, I'm a huge fan of the game as well: pro, amateur, you name it. I'll post links to news items related to the sport, and offer my own personal opinion, predictions and hopefully get some of yours as well.